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The Way of the World

I’ve just finished listening to the audiobook version of The Way of the World: A Story of Truth and Hope in an Age of Extremism. It’s a book about the past decade on the events related to terrorism, religion, and democracy. There are two main themes that run through the book. One is that despite all of the differences between us and those steeped in fundamentalist Islam, the gulf is not insurmountable and that it is quite possible to build bridges between the different people. The other is how completely reality-challenged the Bush administration was in relation to the invasion and occupation of Iraq.

It’s nice to see a closer look at different people, showing us that they’re not so different from us after all. On the other hand, the incompetent Machiavellian attitude of the Bush administration would be so comical that I would have thought the book was satire if we hadn’t already seen them acting that way over and over again. It’s one thing to be purely Machiavellian and getting results, or to have good intentions but bumbling along the way. It’s another thing entirely when they’re being malevolently Machiavellian while still being completely incompetent, which is what we’ve had to endure for the past eight years, unfortunately.

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